familiesintrauma

Relief, Belief and Understanding


Leave a comment

Suicide video at “Choose Life” Conference

I was recently asked to speak for 10 minutes at the “Choose Life” conference held in Kirkcaldy.  I was very humbled by many of the speakers and the work they are continuing to do, day in, day out!  It really is amazing to see individuals turn their trauma into something that helps other people.  And it is not done with ease – it is done often through a lot of pain and suffering.  But, it often get right to the heart of matters because it is coming from a place of experience.  Many of the organizations provide support at the most crucial moments in a person’s life – so is invaluable!!

We used the video on “Suicide of a Family Member”  and it certainly held the audience in suspense as they listened to 5 minutes of painful raw emotions, but also a message of courage from Jackie Easton of Curly Star Dream Foundation .  She has used the trauma of losing her daughter to set up a service which supports other families facing suicide of a family member.

This photo was taken at the conference while the video was being shown.

Curly Star Presentation film copy

 

For many people suicide is a word they don’t even want to utter, but it is a sad fact of daily life.  Statistics show there were 6,581 suicides in the Uk and Republic of Ireland in 2014 showing that many families and friends will be affected.  Even if you feel this is not something you have had to deal with, please share the information about the video whenever you can – because you might not even know which one of your friends or family who may need it.

 

http://www.famiiesintrauma.co.uk

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Gearing Up for our Launch – April 18th!

Before I go into the launch of our first 3 videos in April, I thought I’d share with you a little of where I visited in December as I haven’t done that yet.  It was touch and go as to whether we could actually get there, due to one thing and another – but finally we did.  Steve, my husband, had always wanted to get some lessons from a real flamenco guitar  maestro and in December that’s exactly what we did!  The rest and relaxation were just what we needed – and it reminded us also that we are still individuals, and that even if we are going through difficult times, it is essential to try to recharge our batteries.   We visited Malaga and all the other little villages and towns along the Costa Del Sol.  My favourite part was the weather as it was 25 degrees C – no one could complain at that!  Here goes:

 

2015-12-20 16.17.49

Up in Mijas – seems to be a favourite haunt for many visitors.

 

 

 

2015-12-24 17.35.28

Many people come from all over the world to see the lights in Malaga – we can see why!

 

The weather in Marbella was very obliging.  Steve, myself and our sister in law, Tina.

The weather in Marbella was very obliging. Steve, myself and our sister in law, Tina.

 

And finally - Steve and I enjoying a boat trip.  Apparently we look like  70's rockers here :)

And finally – Steve and I enjoying a boat trip. Apparently we look like 70’s rockers here 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that seems to be  the relaxation over for another few months as we gear up for the launch of the videos.  Just to refresh your memory the subjects of the 3 videos are:

“Suicide of a family Member”

“Stillbirth”

“Rare Genetic Disorders in children – Kabuki Syndrome”

As you can imagine, all families affected by any of the above go through very traumatic experiences trying to cope with the actual event, and the ensuing ripples that always surround these very painful situations.

The videos really highlight the ins and outs of these situations and could be extremely helpful to someone who is suffering – so please, please, please, share all information you can in the lead up to the launch and during the launch, as this is really a pilot project.  Hopefully we will get a good response from this, and it will convince funders to look favourably on the project and help us financially to be able to get out there and create many more and ultimately help families in a way that would never have been possible before social media.

We have a few really good high profile individuals who are keen to support families in Trauma, including Johnny Benjamin from the channel 4 documentary “Stranger on the Bridge” and the Twitter campaign “Find Mike” after a stranger stopped him from committing suicide on a bridge; Claire Baker MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife and also Margaret Hannah, Director of Public Health in Fife.

We have been able to get in a little help with the marketing of the  initial pilot from the social enterprise “Along Came Kirsty” who are based in Dundee and have been really excellent to work with so far.  I’ll keep you updated but was keen to use a local company that has the same type of social values as our own.

As we get closer to the launch – I will try to keep you informed as to what we are up to, but meantime – please share, share, and share again – and if you have any suggestions  on how to help us – by all means – get in touch !!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leave a comment

A Very Warm Welcome to All Our New Members :)

Our logo

FACEBOOK ADVERTISING

After my very first Facebook Advertising campaign (and it was a very small campaign)  I was delighted to be able to have 65 new members sign up for the Facebook page – and hopefully you will all sign up for this blog too.  Families in Trauma is a  new social enterprise and we are aiming to record through video or audio – families who have undergone traumatic experiences – and in turn share these videos to help others on our website.

NEW PREMISESEast Neuk blog 008

We have fallen behind a few months due to believing that we were going to be moving premises – however, this has not materialised – and so – without boring you all with the details, I hope to be focusing more on my social media campaign and getting our videos on our website.

WEBSITE

If you do check the website you will see that there is a lot to still be done – but hopefully you will also join me along this path and share in the journey of establishing a site which can realistically have families or individuals talking about their ‘real’ experiences. I am more than happy to respond to any suggestions any of you may have.

FAMILIES IN TRAUMAEast Neuk blog 006

Most people who catch a glimpse of this site are drawn to the title – either because they or their family have  suffered serious trauma.  The consequences of this trauma can often be severe and when we start to look around for help – we find that, in reality,  there is not much out there! Although doctors and specialists try their best to fill our needs, there is often so much more required and that is exactly why Families in Trauma has been set up.  We need to go straight to the ‘horse’s mouth’ so to speak.

FUTURE PLANS

So we really are at the beginning of a journey together and I want to take you all along with me.  Having experienced a family trauma personally, I know, it is not something you will ever forget.   If you can’t talk  to anyone at the moment – then just follow along online or share this link for the blog or for the Facebook page with someone else if you feel it will help them. Please do everything you can to keep reading and sharing this information because you never know who it will help.

I used to wonder what is the ultimate aim of this new social enterprise , and finally realised, I don’t need to have huge goals or unachievable aspirations – if I can help just one person to get through one more day – then I have achieved a huge amount!!  We all know that a day in the life of a person suffering trauma can be endless – and you never know from the beginning of that day till the end of it – whether you will survive it – but if we can help individuals who are feeling like this to survive one more day, then we have achieved something of worth.  I do not feel this is too huge a goal to aim for and I hope you also will join me in this whenever you can.

Don’t worry if you are not feeling up to much at the moment – just keep reading and checking in – then when you feel more able – share what you can to help others.  It’s a great way to heal – one step at a time.


Leave a comment

Anxiety – What Does it Feel like??

Families in Trauma web 150dpi tagline

WHAT DOES ANXIETY FEEL LIKE?

So what exactly does anxiety feel like?  Have you ever wondered if anxiety is just a little palpitation here and there – nothing to worry about, a little stressful but nothing to write home about?

Many of us have experienced these type of feelings perhaps when starting a new job, school, moving home and or when attempting something new for the first time.    We may feel anxious about how we will be able to cope or will we appear completely stupid in front of our work mates etc  However, this type of anxiety is quite short lived and will often disappear as soon as we feel more comfortable with our new circumstances.

DelphiniamCrop 038fcbk

SEVERE AND CHRONIC ANXIETY

Severe and chronic anxiety, however,  is a totally different feeling altogether.  It is not easy to “snap out of it” and if the anxiety becomes severe, it can feel like a life threatening condition.  Ask anyone who has suffered from this debilitating condition!!

TRAUMA

Trauma of any sort can trigger anxiety and often does.  So the individual not only has to contend with whatever event has taken over their life – but also these very difficult feelings they are experiencing.  They can often be quite shocking and frightening for someone who has never experienced these before.

TURN TO OTHERS

There are many different websites which can provide help for these feelings such as  http://www.mind.org.uk/ and often your own GP will be able to advise in these situations, but one of the things which helped me was to  turn to others who could support me at that time.  Many of them had no experience of what I was going through – but they were kind enough to give me a listening ear, often crying with me .  I had offers of counselling, which I took up on occasion and I read every book I could put my hands on.  I became a devourer of everything and anything which might help me to alleviate this anxiety but ultimately it was my connection to other human beings – and their willingness to stretch their hand out to me that really was the healer. There are still days when anxiety takes over – but nothing like it used to be.

REACH OUT

So if you are suffering anxiety – reach out to others who can help especially family and friends you trust – and if you know someone is suffering anxiety – even if you don’t understand – never turn away – just reach out your hand by giving a little bit of time to someone else.  It will never be forgotten and you may need that help one day in the future.  As the saying goes – “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Families in Trauma web 150dpi tagline


1 Comment

“Stay in the Day”

Over the last few weeks I’ve noticed that many of the people I’ve spoken to seem to be suffering with depression or anxiety.    Now it’s easy to get a medical dictionary definition of what depression is but that often doesn’t seem to help much at all. It seems, that if we have a shared experience – and we feel we can talk to others – it can be a really helpful tool as the sufferer does not feel quite so alone. In all the different areas of trauma, it seems that humans really need to “connect” with others.

Here are some of the expressions I’ve read or heard recently in personal conversations about depression:

“It’s like drowning, except you can see everyone around you breathing.”

“You feel like you are moving in slow motion.”

“You can see everyone else getting on with their lives, yet somehow or other, you’re not a part of it – it’s like you are in a bubble.”

“Everything seems hopeless.”

“Its like you have lost all interest in everything – nothing motivates you any more”.

So it’s not difficult to see why depression and anxiety are major problems when they hit!   In fact, one in 4 people will experience some type of mental health problem over the course of a year.

Most people know the usual advice given by health professionals and try to put some of it into practise. The tried and tested methods often work – but it can sometimes take us a while to get there. However sharing our experience with others, talking to trusted friends, keeping a diary, reading as much as you can about your own illness can all help – but one thing i found which was extremely helpful was to “stay in the day”!!!

What does this really mean though??   When our mind’s are racing, we cant sleep for our thoughts, its painful to remember things, we feel panic when we think about doing anything – its extremely important to rein our minds in  (just as a thoroughbred horse needs to be reined in to train it), we need to do the same with our minds. Its one of the most important things I learned along my own journey.

Tomorrow will always take care of itself – the past is done and gone – but we must live in this day – here and now!  Take little steps – do not let your mind race ahead to next week, month, or year as it is impossible to  know what these will bring.

So if you feel you may be suffering depression or anxiety, try to find out as much as you can to help yourself – and try this one tip “stay in the day”!!

 


2 Comments

HELLO AND WELCOME

Hi, I’m Maggie and as this is my first post on my new site, I thought you might like to understand why I wanted to start a service  like this.

As you may imagine, I went through a very traumatic experience in my own life and it affected all our family for a very long time, and we still have to deal with repurcussions from this although we have certainly all come a long way, and I can say that there is hope – especially for those who receive the correct support at the right time.

The thing that struck me was when I met other individuals going through traumatic events, is that many seemed to suffer similar symptoms even though the circumstances were very different.

My image of getting help through a mental health service was like being handed a beautifully wrapped box of chocolates – only to be so disappointed when the box was revealed to be – empty!  I do not decry any health professionals who work hard to help others in this field, but I’m sure they will also agree that this is an area where  staff are stretched to the limit, with little resources or time to devote to the important things.

I decided that I would like to do whatever I could to help and thought it would be easier to use my own skills as a film maker to record the experiences of many different families and provide an online service so anyone could access at any time of the day or night – and did not need to wait for 6 – 12 months for an appointment.  Often, when help is needed – it is needed right now, this day, this night, as this may be the only chance to help a person to survive.

We already have a number of families lined up who have volunteered to be interviewed either using audio or video and they will be posted on the site as soon as we have a few that can be viewed.  We will also be designing training packages for others who need to provide these training skills to their staff  e.g. hospitals, social services and police etc.

Please feel free to get in touch if you have any ideas you’d like to share and I hope you will share the journey with me as I am new to this but I hope it proves to be a beneficial service for lots of people.

Maggie